For immediate release 23 December 2010
Green MSP Patrick Harvie today challenged Alex Salmond over another potential breach of the Climate Change Act at First Minister's Questions. The Act requires the Ministers to produce a public engagement strategy by the end of the year, meaning that today was the last day this document could be laid before the Christmas recess. The First Minister's answer did not mention the strategy at all, leading to suspicion that he knows nothing about it.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
"The SNP spent months in breach of the Climate Change Act earlier this year by repeatedly bringing inadequate targets to Parliament for approval. The Act now requires them to set out a plan for engaging the public more closely in the issue by the end of this year, and we now know they will either be in breach again or will slip this important document out when Parliament is closed for Christmas and Hogmanay. For a public engagement strategy that would be ironic timing to say the least.
"SNP Ministers clearly believe that simply going on about having delivered 'world-leading legislation' is enough. Given that no party opposed the legislation that was the easy bit - delivery is where the real challenge is. The reality is that Alex Salmond and his team thought their responsibilities on the environment ended simply by voting for the Climate Change Act last year, and that they could then spend the rest of the session just glossing over their polluting and out-dated policies. This is a government which neither understands the issue and nor cares to act on it."